Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Progress Tuesday 30th November 2010

Dear all
 
Our hero of the day is MKT who rose to the challenge of looking after a MyTestTrack customer who, against all odds, arrived this morning for a whole line 1530 test. White out conditions prevailed but, none the less, the test was conducted and the client satisfied with the result. The only other activities on site were the Dream Steam Team, somewhat depleted, that worked until early afternoon and the LMSCA who reported that all seat bases for the Third Open were now complete.
 
As I write this the road outside the window is white over and even the Malt Shovel has shut its doors as no custom is expected - truly a sad day.
 
You will have every sympathy with Hylton who is sitting at home with a broken gas boiler in the vain hope that British Gas will meet its obligations.
 
In view of the weather conditions no works train will run tomorrow or Thursday and we hope we can catch up next week. This is the first time in ten years that we have been totally beaten by the weather!
 
Martin

Train Services in Bad Weather

In regards to the recent weather conditions, we will endeavour to operate any timetabled services and BuyAGift experience days booked as scheduled. If there is bad weather on the day you would like to visit us then please view our live webcams to look at the current weather conditions in Wirksworth. If there is any doubt please do not hesitate to contact the station.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Progress Monday 29th November 2010

Dear all
 
Our obligation today was to fulfil a Group Drive a Diesel Day and of the four booked participants two managed to make Wirksworth. Lewis and Richard rose to the challenge which saw LJB reluctant to start and the impossibility of moving the Class 20 out of the Maintenance Facility but Iris was willing to participate in the day. Our clients were entertained with a journey to Duffield in Iris and, on return, LJB had responded to some battery charging to provide the opportunity to climb to Ravenstor. Two very happy participants departed appreciating their hosts.
 
The Booking Hall opened to receive our guest and was the only place on site where water was available for tea and coffee. Catering also rose to the challenge and provided a much welcome lunch including hot soup.
 
This early winter will prevent productive activity over the next couple of days but it can't last for ever - can it.
 
Martin

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Progress Sunday 28th November 2010

Dear all,

Today we mainly ate pies. At the start of the day, the temperature was
minus 12 at Idridgehay and by the end of the day it had risen to an
almost bucolic minus 9 at Wirksworth. The staff warmed their noodles on
the Mess Room radiators and defrosted their pies in the GLV microwaves,
only to have them re-freeze on the way back to the Mess Room. The locals
were found to be quietly skiing to the shops.

The principal thrust of the day was the repair of the cab windows in the
class 108, the only feasible work in such conditions, though the Duty
Conscript continued to clear the quad of snow and removed some man-sized
icicles from around the station. The weather took its toll of our
equipment and will staff please note that LJ Breeze is whores de combat
with a frozen reversing system which requires fitters attention. The
Mess Room pipes are frozen up and despite heroic efforts, heroic I say,
not all the washing up has been done. Water can be obtained from the
Booking Hall, where the heat generated by the till is keeping the pipes
clear. Staff were reported at Duffield and polar bears were apparently
eating the residents of Middleton.

Today's picture is actually yesterday's picture of Lewis closing the
gates at Idridgehay, kindly provided by Richard Buckby.

The Mess Room cooker has also gone south for the winter, so if anyone is
disposing of their old one and replacing it with a new multi-million
pound B&Q kitchen, we may be interested in your old one (electric only,
hob and oven type needed). I can be contact on my direct email of
anton.shone@btconnect.com to save everyone the deep joy of a discussion
about cookers.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Progress Saturday 27th November 2010

Evening all,


The show went ahead as planned today with no alternations due to the five inches of snow lying at Wirksworth. The passenger service ran with a few hardy souls and entertained out Day with a Driver guests - it was actually a brilliant day to ride as you could take in the snowy vistas along the line. Also, the Drive a Diesel guests thoroughly enjoying themselves driving LJ Breeze and the Class 20. Neither loco was phased by the cold.


Elsewhere, steps were taken towards rectifying an ongoing intermittent vac fault on the bubble car and two meetings (passenger and 8F group) were held.


A very very cold but picturesque day,


Mike Evans via Leigh

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Progress Thursday 25th November 2010

Dear all
 
It's a miracle anyone turned up today yet alone set out to do some constructive work. However, there remains the spirit of adventure even though extremities were in danger. The PWT and VCT joined forces again to continue the attack on the dense vegetation at Duffield. Four loads of brash were moved to the burning site but timing issues prevented the ace fire raiser from achieving a burn leaving a great deal of this product to be dealt with next week.
 
Duffield is certainly benefiting from the clearance and the process will continue for some weeks to come. I am grateful to the PWT who managed to provide two loads of logs for sale to waiting customers at Shottle, a very worthwhile achievement.
 
Some of you may have read about the auctions of material from the late Jarvis empire. Two of our four bids came good and some 30 fishplate spanners and 10 timber nips were collected from Doncaster today at prices we could never have achieved from our normal supplier. The Saloon interior had further work and I am very grateful to Peter who is pursuing this most worthwhile project. During the morning the uprights for No3's shed were successfully erected.
 
The responsibility for our book keeping was successfully transferred from Tom to Angela during the day and this activity, usually hidden from the world, is essential to ensure our dues are paid to HMRC and that we have a clear picture of our financial situation.
 
Martin

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Progress Wednesday 24th November 2010

Dear all
 
A little less busy today but the Permanent Way Team achieved some remarkable things in arctic conditions. An historic event was the removal of the buffet stop in our car park for reuse at Shottle. We can no longer say that the first day of clearance started there because it is no more! This recovery will marginally increase the parking space and will allow road vehicles an easier access to deposit the various vehicles arriving and departing from the Railway.Two Grampus and one Rudd were filled with bagged stone from last week's exercise and will be used, in time, to address areas along the line that need a ballast top up. A remarkable recovery took place at Ravenstor where some 26 concrete sleepers donated many years ago have been resting and are now loaded to the Sturgeon for use in our plans to increase the siding capacity at Shottle. The team have made a real contribution by utilising material lying about at Wirksworth and its environs for improvement projects down the line. More sweating of our assets!
 
Lynette continued her labour of love on the Station garden assisted for a while by Rodney who was having car repairs assessed by our very own Station Garage.
 
Martin

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Progress Tuesday 23rd November 2010

Dear all
 
So much going on today that, unusually, I have had to resort to a taste of Scotland to help the creative juices. So off we go with the joint efforts of the PWT and VCT to move four wagon loads of brash from the Duffield clearances to the burning site a little way away. The PWT had a number of tasks to perform at Wirksworth before departure including placing the ballast hoppers in the Wash Green dock and gathering the Lowmac from the Car Park. On return form the south the Sturgeon was added to the consist for loading with materials tomorrow.The Komatsu journeyed from Duffield to Wirksworth ready for its role in tomorrow's activities but also to receive more repairs to the flair and filter housing. Alan managed along with his duties as head of burning to undercoat milepost 134.
 
The DST, consisting of ten people!, continued painting, repairs to the foundation ring, replating the footplate and overhauling the drain cocks of Henry Ellison. I merely report this without really understanding what it all means but I am sure the end product will be lovely.
 
More jargon to come with the LMSCA constructing a further nine seat bases for the Third Open and experimentation with new lighting configurations. A word I have never come across before, may have been invented by Derek Mason, is "patresses" which represent the area between light fittings and the ceiling which it is claimed were fitted today. A special mention is due to Peter who has funded and fitted newly made drop windows and surrounds to the Saloon. Last seen in pitch dark fitting some of his newly supplied material.
 
Radio Derby visited this morning for a piece that was put out during the afternoon. We had around 20 minutes of exposure which I am sure will help the cause and enabled me to ramble on without interruption.
 
The Komatsu was returned from Duffield to Wirksworth ready for some activity tomorrow and yet more repairs to the flail. We knew this machine would be high maintenance given the work asked of it and it is great we have the skills in house to undertake the bulk of the repairs.
 
Work has continued to give the Gatex First Open coach lights and a modicum of heat for the Santa season without it costing and arm and a leg. The Logging Department were rejoicing in Friday's delivery of product, I think that's what they said, and have produced a quantity of full bags for sale. More progress was made on the covered accommodation for Ferrybridge No3.
 
In the Booking Hall further fine tuning of next year's timetable leaflet occupied quite a lot of time and more Santa bookings were progressed. Our Duffield representative visited HQ to report on a day of leaf gathering, assistance to VCT and brash loading. Whilst a future is determined for Hydra useful parts were removed to store as it is likely the locomotive will make a positive contribution to the future of the Railway in one form or another.
 
Another very good day.
 
Martin

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Progress Report Sunday the 21st of November 2010

Dear all,

A rather chilly day in parts, with some of our parts being more chilly
than others. A host of activities occupied the many volunteers who
attended today. Starting at Duffield (for once), the entire and utter
staff of that station tidied up around the station office and moved
various items of brash and tat which had sadly accumulated there.
Meanwhile, the conscripts had arrived at Wirksworth and the word
"drains" was the first instruction issued, followed by "spades" and
"boots".

In the yard, the steam team, using the full power which the yard can
provide (having first turned the kettle off) welded parts of the boiler
of Henry Ellison as part of the restoration programme of that
locomotive. Also in the yard, Santa's Helpers (High Peak Division)
completed the major works on the Emporium de St Nicholas, and it also
looks very fine, with an especially fetching window, that Bob Cratchet
will be peering out of, come Christmas.

Around the Training Room, complete with its new step, the Global
Marketing Dept held a meeting to determine a cunning plan to take over
the world using the Bubble Car and a crack team of specially trained
dogs from Turnditch.

While this was taking place the Gat Ex Fitter (Bramson's Grease and
Tools Plc), addressed the droplights in the Buffet Car, which have been
known to give our guards back-strain trying to open them. In addition,
the reputed failure of the FO motor alternator set was traced to a loose
wire, with the full force of the railway's engineering skill having been
brought to bear upon it, and for which we are hopeful of a resolution in
a very soon moment.

The DMU team, being so populous as to have to split themselves into two,
firstly engaged in assorted repairs to the cab of the class 108 and then
assembled and arranged the recently arrived and newly painted seat
frames for the Met Cam centre car, and this is the subject of today's
picture, which shows them laid out ready to be bolted down: we hope to
be able to compare this picture to the finished product very shortly.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Progress Saturday 20th November 2011

Dear all,


Another busy and cold day at the foot of Wyvern Towers. Our teams entertained six BuyAGift Guests and all seemed to enjoy themselves. The passenger service saw reasonable numbers, with the first train being loaded with a party of 29 that turned up out of the blue.


Down the yard, a lone member of the LMSCA began preparations to renew the drain pipes inside the LMS Third Open coach. These pipes are fitted to the majority of coaches (LMS, BR and DMU) under the windows. They catch the condensation that forms on the inside of the window and they drip it outside so that it doesn't rot the interior. 


The 8F group continued work inside their coach and the DMU group continued working on the Class 108, with the vehicle getting ever closer to being ready for service.


Mike Evans via Leigh

Friday, 19 November 2010

Progress Friday 19th November 2010

Dear all
 
Much activity again today with dmu maintenance featuring to resolve a vacuum leak on the Bubble Car. LJB was checked over for a water leak and the Saloon and SK were shunted to Platform 1 for an event next Wednesday. Further research was undertaken as to whether it was worth while to try and revive Faraday and this work will continue as and when circumstances permit.
 
A young offender and minder unloaded a wagon of logs for the Logging Department and Santa bookings were progressed in the Booking Hall.
 
Mike Billings managed a stretch of flailing north of Duffield and Rodney went on a litter picking exercise from Duffield station to the footbridge - a dirty old place Duffield!
 
Martin

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Progress Thursday 18th November 2010

Dear all
 
Another most satisfactory day with MKT and Hylton tending to our customer's every need. Many thanks are due to Anton for stepping into the breach to man the Buffet Car to provide soup and sandwiches to our customer's customers. The end of the day saw the test machine leave site with some trailers due to depart tomorrow and we are just left with some 60 tonnes of ballast to find a home for!
 
The PWT and VCT joined forces again as they tackle the considerable undergrowth at Duffield. Some four loads of brash was moved away from the housing there and burnt further up the line. Two useful wagon loads of logs were brought back to Wirksworth, one for a direct sale and one for the Logging Dept.
 
The LMSCA were in action dealing with window drain pipes and there was a modest effort surrounding the proposed shed for No3.
 
Martin

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Progress Wednesday 17th November 2010

Dear all
 
A cold, wet and dark day tested the most resolute of our team but, as ever, achievements were made. The PWT set sail to further cleanse the lineside and are finding not only the redundant assets of our own activities but the cast offs of relaying from the 50s and 60s. Nonetheless much more material has been moved to where it may rot in peace.
 
The PWT's operations were interrupted by a valuable customer whose test day went very well but was lengthy involving all concerned arriving back at Wirksworth after dark. Again many thanks to MKT and Hylton who keep on top of the customers requirements despite the cold and wet conditions.
 
A scrap collection from Shottle of the wasted rail from Duffield yielded a satisfactory return and suggested renewed efforts to capitalise on this source of income.
 
I am pleased to report the Phil has taken up the challenge to attend Birmingham University's Independent Competent Person course with the encouragement and aid of our supporter, Associate Professor Felix Schmid, the course leader.
 
Martin

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Progress Tuesday 16th November 2010

Dear all
 
Quite a day with an incredible level of activity on our project. The Dream Steam Team devoted their attentions to Henry Ellison with much painting, plating of the cab and cleaning the motion. The LMSCA were in production again with the seating to be installed in the Stanier Third Open.
 
The Permanent Way Team went south and report that redundant sleeper have been totally cleansed from Duffield through to Derby Road 4 bridge north of Hazelwood with four loads delivered to their final resting place and any garden or siding quality sleepers placed in appropriate stacks. Miscellaneous scrap encountered during these activities has been filed in the waiting skip at Shottle.Given a fair wind, tomorrow should see the final uplifting of unwanted material from the lineside with the exception of the prodigious products of the VCT. That team today dealt with some 40 yards of blackthorn north of Shottle, a most challenging piece of vegetation, and two large fires consumed the end product. The team's endeavours at Duffield had been interrupted today as contractors for Network Rail thoroughly examined the footbridge at Duffield requiring a complete ban on passing traffic.
 
Yesterday and today had been occupied by the bagging up of 60 tonnes of ballast into one tonne bags ready for use by a customer tomorrow and Thursday. This was all ably orchestrated by Hylton with a contractor and was ready in good time before the customer's arrival this afternoon.
 
The LMSCA were in full production of the parts necessary for seat construction in the Third Open and the Booking Hall continued to process Santa bookings.
 
We were pleased to welcome our new Book Keeper, Angela, who will move amongst us once a week from now on to ensure our financial reporting and probity is as it should be. For those of you who watch our activities from home from time to time I give thanks to Leigh and Anton who have installed a second web cam giving a new view of our enterprise.
 
I also take the opportunity to thank Ernie Marchant who has very kindly returned to the fold to get our share register into shape and ensure that we do not breach Companies House rules. Not an easy task but very essential to our general wellbeing unless you relish visiting the directors in less salubrious surroundings. ( Did I hear a yes there!)
 
Martin

New Version of the Stock List Available for Download

Evening all,


A new version of the stock list is available for download from the usual place. Updates this time include the arrival of Austerity "The Duke" and a support coach. Some other minor alterations include updated images for some stock that has changed livery etc.


Leigh

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Progress Sunday the 14th of November 2010

Dear all,

A foggy start, which soon cleared. In a highly unusual move, the Duty
Conscript was out of the door to start work before our own staff. The
first task of the day, was then, to finish the removal of the remaining
ballast bags from the north end of platform 1 and transmit the contents
down the yard, by the miracle of the hand trolley, to complete the Shed
Drain. The completion of this work was rapturously received by the Steam
Team, whose joy at not having to negotiate the drain after 2 1/2 years
was plain. The balance of what remained in the ballast bags was used to
fill in the cribs next to the fuelling point, as many staff walk in this
part of the yard as well.

Meanwhile, the DMU team, aroused by this show of interest in work,
managed to stagger out of the Mess Room in the direction of the Class
108. A fruitful day saw them finish the painting of the chassis parts of
that unit, with a great deal of underframe black slapped around, closely
followed by red, white and orange. Other members of the Team attached
both handrails and steps. In an effort to prove Mr Fergy-Lee's statement
about our ability to attach pictures to this edifice, which is the daily
report, I attach a picture of the DMU Team being "supervised" by Mr Rob
Green, who is looking very cheerful, having just passed his ECS exam
(L-R in the picture: Brad, Leigh, Connor and Rob). Further driver
training took place on the M55006 during the day and the train crew were
refreshed by the the station staff at Duffield. Also at Duffield, a
mammoth leaf clearing exercise took place, closed followed by the
replacement of the boarding on the down slow footbridge abutment, which
had been blown off by Al-Quaeda. Oh, I'm sorry, I wanted that to sound
more interesting than it was, so I made it up, like they do on the TV.
Actually it fell off and has been restored by Rodders.

Back in Wirksworth, the small but perfectly formed Steam Team were
engaged in preparing the cab floor plating on Henry Ellison and, er,
delivering a boat. Also in the yard, the Class 20 received routine
maintenance, principally involving a bucket, and the Elves were hard at
it preparing Santa's Toy shop. We were all, quite, quite exhausted.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Progress Saturday 13th November 2010

Dear all,


Today was very much a rolling stock day, with oodles of volunteers on site performing various tasks on our workhorses. Both the Class 20 (work on the injectors) and Class 31 (traction motor fan) received some pretty heavy maintenance by their various custodians and organisation work continued by the 8F group. Some of this work continued well into the winter darkness.


Meanwhile, the Class 117 received new start and stop buttons for the engines in various places after these had decided to go faulty, and the Class 108 received attention to the cab brake valve so that drivers do not need to be Mr Muscle to operate it. Some further investigations into the lack of illumination inside the Mark2 FO continued and the LMSCA worked on their coach as well.


On top of all of this, the bubble car and LJ Breeze bobbled about entertaining our Day with a Driver guests, with a few ordinary passengers braving the cold for a ride.


Busy day!


Graham Walker via Leigh

Friday, 12 November 2010

Progress Friday 12th November 2010

Dear all
 
A most satisfactory day as we assisted our customer to conduct further radar detection tests which was said to be a successful mission. On the first run a tree was found across the line near Rowlands crossing but, after returning for equipment, the offending item was disposed of.
 
The dmu team concentrated on painting the Class 108 underframe and some exploratory work was conducted on the Gatwick Express First Open to try and deduce why the lighting and air conditioning no longer work.
 
Useful detective work was progressed to more closely analyse where our substantial electrical consumption is going to. I anticipate interesting results.
 
A young offender and his minder gave the platforms a brush and tidy up and the Booking Hall was in production processing Santa bookings and enquiries.
 
Martin

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Progress Thursday 11th November 2010

Dear all
 
Winter has really set in but the brave souls of the PWT and VCT joined forces to further clear the area between the footbridge and tunnel at Duffield of unnecessary vegetation. A mighty seven wagons loads of brash were shipped to the burning site and a fire of gargantuan size dealt with all this unwanted material. A magnificent achievement given the inhospitable weather. Apparently, as areas are cleared, Duffield proves to be one of the worst for dumping of sundry items by our neighbours including a most surprising number of buckets!
 
60 tonnes of stone was delivered to the Wirksworth Car Park to be bagged next week and used as one tonne weights by one of our regular customers. Timber was also delivered including a proportion that will be used in the quest to provide a cover Ferrybridge No3 and is also capable of allowing full sized stock to pass through it. Exploratory work was undertaken to see whether Faraday may be brought back to life with initial encouraging results.
 
Two minutes silence were observed by the PWT at the eleventh hour.
 
Martin
 
PS - We have learnt of an incident at a Railway not too distant from us where a volunteer slipped on the footboards of a Brakevan, whilst it was moving, fell and was hospitalised. A lesson for us as in wintery conditions these wooden footboards can be treacherous and it is a real no no to try and join a moving vehicle - please by cautious!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Progress Wednesday 10th November 2010

Dear all,
 
Great to hear from Howard - 9000 posts is quite something and will provide much material for the historians of the Inter Galactic University in 2110 - I wonder what they will make of PWT, VCT, DST, IMT, DMU, S&T and PSD? Perhaps time travel will enable them to appreciate our efforts - they may be with us now! I'm just having a David Ike moment.
 
Back to reality as I report on the PWT achieving further work to cleanse the lineside of the debris from the relaying programme. Two loads of life expired sleepers were transported from the Shottle to Hazelwood section to their final resting place south of Hazelwood. The Komatsu was in action at Shottle to empty the Rudd of unwanted material from Duffield, discharge the Sturgeon of parts gathered from the S & T store at Wirksworth and remove pointwork previously put to ground but now in the way of extending the Shottle Loop by a further track panel. Two short rails were loaded to the Sturgeon along with a couple of concrete sleepers as part of the plot to extend the headshunt at Duffield.
 
Back at base the Logging Dept. were in action chopping sticks and many thanks are due to Mick Kingsley who restacked yesterday's fire north of Duffield with the final load of brash delivered.
 
I should also give a special mention to Richard Buckby who mentored our very own South African Flying Dentist in the fine art of driving L J Breeze - from Piper Aztec to Rolls Royce?
 
Martin
 
 

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Progress Tuesday 9th November 2010

Dear all
 
With some 45 volunteers on site today we should have made considerable progress and, of course, we did. A joint operation between the VCT and PWT saw a concerted attack on the vegetation in the area bounded by Duffield Tunnel and Duffield Footbridge. As trees were felled the brash was taken by rail to a point some distance away from the inhabited area to be burnt and some six large wagon loads were dealt with. Many requests from our neighbours were integrated with today's activities which resume on Thursday. All concerned deserve a little extra praise as the weather conditions were wet and cold and many hot baths and showers will be enjoyed this evening.
 
The Dream Steam Team seems to grow week by week pushing Henry Ellison forward with paint being applied to the wheels and frame. Surrounding this activity was the refurbishment of the foundation ring, springs and eccentric straps. The last two activities were under the control of Mary Birch who has been introduced to areas of volunteering that she wouldn't have ever dreamt of. Nonetheless she can work closely with her husband who has been christened "eccentric Rod" and was sporting a very natty "Tornado" woolly hat today.
 
The LMSCA have been closeted in their workshop with machines working overtime to support the remarkable progress with the restoration of the Stanier Third Open.  Also at Duffield the Platform team rebedded some of the coping stones that had been disturbed by the Komatsu a couple of weeks ago.
 
An essential back room job engaged Patrick as he brought the drivers records up to date and Dorothy braved the cold to undertake further work on the station planters. The Booking Hall continued to process Santa bookings as the pace quickens.
 
It was very good to welcome Fred and Iris back into the fold after Fred's absence due to a minor, but worrying, emergency operation. They have duly cleansed the Mess Hall and restored order to this facility where even simple washing up seems to provide a metal block on those who rest, briefly, there.
 
A day that brings much encouragement to the forward movement of our project.
 
Martin 

Monday, 8 November 2010

Progress on the 10th Anniversary Day Monday 8th November 2010

Dear all
 
10 years ago to this very day negotiations had reached a stage where the then Railtrack felt able to grant permission for work to start on site at Wirksworth prior to purchase of the line. A straw poll amongst the eight souls involved picked an area to commence the great clearance effort that turned out to be where the buffer stop is in the Car Park, then a dump for sundry piles of muck and rubbish. The rest is as they say "history"!
 
Many, many hours of volunteer effort have since been put into the project and much, much money has been put in by supporters of the Duffield to Wirksworth line to move it to where we are today. The tantalising prospect of full line reopening in our eleventh year is truly exciting and will comprise sights and sounds to match the opening of the line in 1867.
 
We have gained new friends as our journey has progressed and, sadly, lost a few on the way. What will be achieve in the next ten years? Given what has gone on in the past one suspects the 20th anniversary will again celebrate remarkable achievements.
 
Raise a glass and toast the energy and determination of all associated with the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - haven't we done well!
 
Martin

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Progress Sunday the 7th of November 2010

Dear all,

A bright, if chilly, winters day here with volunteers pottering around
dealing with a wide range of necessary tasks. For the first time this
year, there was no Sunday passenger service, though there will be a few
trains on Saturdays in November to Idridgehay. In this blissful peace
some jobs were got to grips with that couldn't be done while passenger
services were running, including the removal of several ballast bags
from the north end of platform 3, with a couple still to move. The
conscripts were occupied in this task and also broke the back of the
shed drain job, which should be complete next week if all goes well.

Around the yard the newly arrived J94 received painting attention in the
shed, and work also proceeded on the LMS brake van. One of our other
brake vans received its cosmetic wooden cladding from the Rod and Mary
Show, in preparation for the scheduled visit in December of one Nicholas
S Claus. Also on the woodwork front, the Training Room steps were
repaired by ASM Woodhouse and the interior checked for leaks, after the
roof was recently treated, and this appears to have done the trick.
Further remedial work took place on the Gat Ex doors and the Gat Ex
water tanks and toilets were checked and winterised.

The DMU team first attended to some computer work and Mr Kilroy's cat
will shortly be on-line. The team then devoted themselves to checks on
the Bubble Car, which proved satisfactory. Duffield Station was
inspected, along with some passing Black Fives, and a station ladder,
the disabled ramps and the solar unit battery were transmitted to that
station; however, an immediate return was delayed while tea was made
using the slowest boiling kettle in Christendom.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Progress Saturday 6th November

Evening all,


A very strange sort of day with many many Day with a Driver and Drive a Diesel guests. The day started with a planning moment so that all of these guests could receive the best value for their money, and despite the bubblecar throwing a wobbly after the first run, they all enjoyed themselves. The DMU team were able to fix said wobbly after swapping the service vehicle for Iris. The guests all enjoyed their lunch in the buffet car too. Three trains ran on the Idridgehay line primarily for the benefit of the guests, however these were also surprisingly well used by other visitors, despite the services not being advertised. Inbetween the runs to Idridgehay, Driver Allsop put his "Breeze" head on and gave the guests a run to Ravenstor. The Drive a Diesel crew did some shunting before also having a run down the line.


In between fixing various things the DMU team worked on the 108 guard van ceiling, whilst a few steps away, the LMSCA worked on seat frames for their TO coach. Some of the LMSCA also worked on tidying the interior of the to-be-restored Mk1 BSK. The newly arrived 8F group worked on tidying up after various things had scattered themselves around on the A6 yesterday. A new volunteer who saw us during a volunteering show at Derby University last week had a full introduction - he has recently moved to Derby and fancied up-scaling from his previous railway, the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway!


Some work was done on the brakevan in preparation for Santa trains next month.



Mike Evans via Leigh

Friday, 5 November 2010

Progress Friday 5th November 2010

Dear all
 
A pleasant start tom the day that deteriorated through the afternoon to a typical Bonfire night evening. However, the day was successful and quite exciting as Austerity locomotive "The Duke" arrived from Rowsley having followed a support coach from the 8F locomotive group down the Station approach. We welcome both these new arrivals and their teams which will fulfil a most useful addition to our own Dream Steam Team.
 
"The Duke" is from the same mold as the J94s that were used in the latter days of the Cromford & High Peak Railway and will be capable of working steam hauled trains between Wirksworth and Duffield. The locomotive has been put into the Maintenance Facility for a quick cosmetic repaint with a view to it being a static feature on display during the Santa train period. Restoration will start in earnest in 2011 alongside the continuing work on Henry Ellison.
 
The decision of the 8F group to relocate to Wirksworth brings a whole wealth of new skills, and manpower, to enhance the work of Bob Gibbens and his team which will make Wirksworth a continuing centre of excellence for steam locomotive restoration. The iconic maroon liveried 48624 is unlikely to visit us in the near future with existing commitments on the Churnet Valley Railway followed by a contract at the Great Central Railway but there is the tantalising prospect of occasional visits when we have more of the infrastructure necessary to support its operation in place.
 
In order to deal with these arrivals and put them where they are required there was much shunting and many thanks are due to Mick Thomas and the dmu team for orchestrating the necessary moves.
 
The funeral of Lady Hilton took place this afternoon and John Blackmore kindly represented the Company and members. The remainder of the day is left in Anton's hands as we support the Stone Centre's fireworks evening.
 
Quite a day in the development and growth of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway!
 
Martin

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Progress Thursday 4th November 2010

Dear all
 
A quietly productive day with the Duffield Platform area having a general tidy up to make work on the remaining section a slightly easier task. Sundry surplus stone and tree roots were loaded to the Rudd for transmission to a site where they can finally rest. A further 30ft of track bed was prepared south of the buffer stop to give a longer headshunt which aid the movement of materials for the general development of this area. The south ground frame received adjustments to fine tune the lie of the points.
 
The VCT reported a successful conclusion of their fence repairs along side the Chatsworth Estate and a splendid three fire day to cleanse the lineside. The team move to the Duffield area next week and will be supported by the PWT on Tuesday and Thursday.
 
Some exploratory work commenced for the proposed shelter over Ferrybridge No3 with the proviso that it has to accommodate coaching stock passing through and visiting slightly larger engines. Mathew gave two of our MyTestTrack Landrovers an exterior clean and had a further go at the Class 20. A lone Permanent Way man patrolled Wirksworth Yard but was largely defeated by the inclement weather.
 
Martin

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Progress Wednesday 3rd November 2010

Dear all
 
A repeat of yesterday with a fine morning followed by a very dismal afternoon. Spirits were not too dampened as the Permanent Way Team continued Operation Hoover as they cleansed the lineside of surplus material covering a further quarter mile section south of Hazelwood. Mathew was in loco cleaning mode and has much improved the Class 20 and Lynette made further progress with the station garden.
 
The Duffield platform project benefited from further fill from the previously accumulated mole hills with around half the remaining area topped up with this base mix of soil and spent ballast.
 
Martin

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Progress Tuesday 2nd November 2010

Dear all
 
The day started with mild pleasant weather that deteriorated by the afternoon into a wet, bleak dark ending with dusk falling at around 1530hrs. Nonetheless, a veritable kaleidoscope of work was achieved. Very black people emerged from the Dream Steam Team as they winterised Ferrybridge No3 proving that steam locomotive maintenance is a dirty business. The Komatsu received repairs following an attack by a tree branch at Duffield a couple of weeks ago. On completion the flail was attached and the machine driven to Duffield for use on the Platform project through the rest of the week.
 
The VCT continued their efforts on the boundary fence north of Derby Road No4 bridge where we abut the Chatsworth Estate. Much clearance of vegetation achieved and it became a three fire day with a five man team.
 
The PWT had a most productive day with the scrap rail at Shottle released for collection and eventual export. This activity was followed by a start being made on the cleaning of pre-owned sleepers from the area of VCT work which revealed more scrap and a quantity of garden quality sleepers which were stacked at Shottle. A wagon load of logs was collected up and placed on the Shottle siding for sale.
 
The LMSCA cleaned out the Mark 1 BSK ready for renovation work to commence and the LMS Third Open moved forward with vestibule ceilings fitted and an assembly of steam heating parts. The woodwork for the seats was in mass production and it was good to see Derek back at work after a period of rest with gout.
 
The station planters were readied for the winter and the Booking Hall continued to process Santa Bookings.
 
A very good day.
 
Martin